August 4, 2020 at approximately 6 pm
I handed her the keys today and I couldn't concentrate on the moment because her entire life was racing across the movie screen of my mind. When Alice asked the White Rabbit, "How long is forever? The White Rabbit replied, "Sometimes, just one second."
Summer 2018 was the first time I put her behind the wheel. She was only fourteen and we hijacked the parking lot of a local park. She'd had a history of running everything she'd ever tried to ride or drive into walls. I knew that I needed to start early on driving. I thought I was so clever and that I'd gotten the jump on time... but time gets the laugh on me... I swear it was only a second ago.
The shouted curses, the laughter, the shared smiles of the moment somehow fade... into today, this moment where I photograph her all grown up in a beautiful dress, holding the keys, about to drive away without me.
She's halfway through her senior year, a full semester ahead. She'll send off her application to Anderson University this week and she's working some forty hours per week at her summer job. She is driven, she is strong, she is beautiful.
This is the girl on the pony ride, the girl who danced on the curb while she waited for her bus, the girl who took my hand and sat on my lap. Here she is with car keys in her hand.
And she is beautiful. She is smiling. I am shocked, I am thrilled, I am proud of who she has become. The keys are in her hands, and she is ready for the drive.
Aleks found my tire gauge... I also had a lighter in the console. I always have a lighter in my car, it's part of my emergency preparedness... you never know when you might need a fire. She thought it was drug paraphernalia... I've laughed so hard that I've nearly hurt my side. But hey, she's looking out for me too.